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Individuals that have left an impression

Discussion in 'General Zoo Discussion' started by Panthera1981, 31 Dec 2014.

  1. Panthera1981

    Panthera1981 Well-Known Member

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    Hello everyone,

    Everyone has their favourite animal(s), but what individual has left such an impression upon you that you become attached, maybe even emotionally,to them?

    For me, it was "Crackers" the giraffe at London, and "Roopa" the GOH rhino at Whipsnade. I can't explain why, but whenever I visited both sites I actively sought them out and it always made my day that I had seen them.
     
  2. tschandler71

    tschandler71 Well-Known Member

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    Of the four bull African elephants at Birmingham, Ajani appears to be the only one that responds when I (just as a random zoo visitor) talk to him.
     
  3. Shellheart

    Shellheart Well-Known Member

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    Corky at SeaWorld left a huge impression on me when I was younger,I was so awe-inspired by such a large,beautiful,intelligent creature. I know it's cheesy when SeaWorld trainers say they feel connections to the animals,but I definitely understand it. I still make it a point to visit SeaWorld to see Corky fairly often, definitely one my favorite animals at any institution I've ever visited. Nola and the recently deceased Angalifu definitely are right there next to Corky as some of the last of their species, they were both such beautiful animals,and seeing some of the last remaining animals of a species leaves me quite emotional every time. I plan to see Nola as much as possible while I still can.
     
  4. Gigit

    Gigit Well-Known Member

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    Bulu, the Bornean orangutan, born and bred at ZSL, moved to Paignton in 1992 at the age of 31. I first set eyes on her in the famous TV series about ZSL's financial problems, which were the reason she and her companions moved to Paignton.

    She was extremely charismatic and fond of interacting with people. She always came and sat by the glass when I visited and looked at the 'interesting things' I took to show her. I used to trawl shops to find the intricate moving toys and novelties that she seemed to prefer. She was one of our reasons for choosing to live in Paignton when we moved from London ourselves.

    She was responsible for my passion for orangutans, for me being a Zoochatter, and for finding friends among other orangutan fans. I was heartbroken when she died in 2008.
     
  5. Animal Friendly

    Animal Friendly Well-Known Member

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    As a youngster Chi Chi the giant panda and Guy the gorilla at London, when on holiday in London going to Regents Park was the highlight and to see Chi Chi and Guy in particular. Later in life I became very fond of Joe, the gorilla at Twycross, I used to go straight to see him first when arriving at the zoo, he also passed on in 2008 and as Gigit says it is very upsetting when this happens to animal you are very fond of. Presently I am taking a keen interest in Victor, the polar bear at the Yorkshire Wildlife Park.
     
  6. Merintia

    Merintia Well-Known Member

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    Ulises, when he was in Barcelona, my first and during very long time, the only orca that I had seen alive. Made me instantly fell in love with orcas, about 25 years ago (I was 7 the first time I saw him). I saw him three times, in three consecutive summers, and spent hours looking and, sometimes, interacting with him through the glass underwater windows of his tiny pool. On those years I lived in Majorca and my family travelled to Zaragoza through Barcelona each August, so the visit to the zoo was an obligation if they didn´t want to bear a crying child during the rest of the trip :D

    I still hope to see him again someday.
     
  7. elefante

    elefante Well-Known Member

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    I am kicking myself for not visiting the Barcelona Zoo to see Snowflake. I think he would have made an impression on me.
     
  8. Crowthorne

    Crowthorne Well-Known Member

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    Seeing Winnie the orca at Windsor safari park made a big impression on me. I also have fond memories of Boris and Wanda the Siberian tigers at Whipsnade, their tiger cubs were the first I ever saw. I also always make sure to visit the grey slender loris pair in London's moonlight world, although I don't actually know their names.
     
  9. Dassie rat

    Dassie rat Well-Known Member

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    I think the individual animals that have had most impact on me are as follows:

    A single black uakari at Cologne Zoo in 1982. Cologne had a saki and uakari house that included red and white uakaris and monk and white-nosed sakis, but I particularly liked the black uakari.

    Humphrey the aye-aye at Paris Vincennes in 1988. It was the first time i had ever seen an aye-aye, despite visiting Madagascar in 1987. Humphrey was interested in me and poked its middle finger between two panes of glass in its enclosure. I put my finger up to the glass and I hope that I made finger contact with Humphrey.

    A hand-reared plumbeous redstart at London Zoo. It was really friendly and came to the front of its enclosure when I visited. I tend to prefer animals that are interested in visitors - perhaps this is a two-way process for them.

    An olingo at Kilverstone Zoo. It was nearly closing time and a keeper showed me the olingo, which was just becoming active. It was sad that Kilverstone placed a father and daughter together and a mother and son, as they couldn't obtain olingos from other zoos. I saw my first olingo at Exmouth Zoo, but I don't think there are any captive olingos outside South America.
     
  10. dunstbunny

    dunstbunny Well-Known Member

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    Gorilla Fritz in Nuremberg. He's not my favourite gorilla (well, somehow All gorillas are my favourites, LOL), but he's the only one where the word "gentleman" comes to my mind.
     
  11. Gigit

    Gigit Well-Known Member

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    What a wonderful description! I've just looked for a photo of him in the Gallery without success.
     
  12. Parrotsandrew

    Parrotsandrew Well-Known Member

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    Cuddles the Killer Whale - Flamingo Park and Dudley

    Flossie the African Elephant - Flamingo Park and Dudley

    Gomba the African Elephant - Flamingo Park/Land

    Thurston the Red River Hog - Dudley

    I once got the impression Chang at Chester was offering me some hay, but he may have just been tempting me to reach out in order to grab me! It was a nice moment though.
     
  13. lamna

    lamna Well-Known Member

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    I've had similar experiences with Jill the Raven and sticks at Dudley Zoo. Not sure if we were playing fetch or "Bait the Human".

    Flossie and Flora certainly left an impression, I was so young it's rather hazy but I'm pretty sure that's where my love of elephants started, maybe of animals in general. Or perhaps it galvanized it.

    I'm not misremembering that you could feed them and touch their trunks, am I?
     
  14. FrancoiseLangur

    FrancoiseLangur Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Although I haven't seen her with my own eyes yet, I would say Elke, the hand-raised Francois langur at Taronga Zoo. I never imagined an animal could be that physically beautiful until I saw her photos. She was the very one who made me start visiting zoos.

    I plan to see her this year.
     
  15. IanRRobinson

    IanRRobinson Well-Known Member

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    Gorillas: "Guy" (of course) and "Kumba II" at London: "Djoum" (he was enormous)at Howletts and later Port Lympne.

    "Chia Chia" the Giant Panda, when I knew he was going to Cincinnati and I realised how lucky I'd been to see him at London.

    "Sam" the Polar Bear at London.

    "Jums" the bull African Elephant at Howletts (anybody think that there's a bigger one in Europe)?

    London's first Asiatic Lions, "Martin" the male Sumatran Tiger, and "Fritz" the male Persian Leopard.

    "Henry" and Belinda", Whipsnade's pair of Common Hippo.

    My first ever Komodo Dragaon, Fijian Banded Iguana, Boelen's Python, Estuarine Crocodile, False Gharial, New Zealand Blue Duck, Bulwer's Wattled Pheasant, Shoebill, Storm's Stork, Steller's Sea Eagle, Harpy Eagle, Martial Eagle, Kagu, Black-necked Crane, Leadbeater's Possum, Aye - Aye, Coquerel's Sifaka, Red-handed Tamarin, Golden Lion Tamarin, Red Howler Monkey, Red Uakari, Drill, Douc, Bonobo, Bush Dog, Maned Wolf, Fossa, Baird's Tapir, Kiang, Okapi, Gaur, Lesser Kudu, Addax and Yellow- backed Duiker.


    Every single specimen of a wild felid that I've seen for the first time, but especially Oncilla, Black-footed, Fishing and Ruty-spotted Cats, and Jaguarundi. And Wuppertal's King Cheetah.

    Every Snow Leopard that I've ever seen.

    And="Torgamba" and "Meranti", the Sumatran Rhino at Port Lympne. The only species on this list, maybe apart from the Leadbeater's Possum, that I don't hope or expect to see again.
     
  16. gentle lemur

    gentle lemur Well-Known Member

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    There is something special about seeing an animal as an infant and watching it grow to maturity. I think I would nominate 'Oscar' the male Sumatran orang born at Bristol in 1971, who was hand-reared as an infant and subsequently reintroduced to his mother 'Anne'. I saw him on my first visit to Bristol to see the baby gorilla 'Daniel' who was born at roughly the same time. There is nothing more appealing than a baby orang and 'Oscar' was the youngest that I had seen at the time. I watched him grow on subsequent visits and I took this photo when he was about 18 months old in the awful old Ape House (which was replaced a couple of years later by an equally awful one, which is now the nocturnal house).
    [​IMG]
    Subsequently 'Oscar' moved to Chester where he fathered several infants, notably 'Emma' and 'Subis' the current breeding females. I did get some of photos of him there, notably a black and white portrait which I will dig out and publish here one day. I always thought that he was a very handsome animal.
    He was then moved to Liberec where he fathered another infant, who is now breeding at Lisbon. He died in 1999.

    Alan
     
  17. Parrotsandrew

    Parrotsandrew Well-Known Member

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    Visitors would feed the elephants from the castle side of the paddock - I have seen Flossie and Kasama being fed chips in that fashion. I did post a photograph in the Dudley gallery of the elephants reaching out to visitors and maybe being fed - I think I titled it "A True Zoo Scene" or something similar as I am of the old school; if I knew how to set up a link I would do so! After the death of Kasama (a keeper told me it was from salmonella poisoning) additional fencing was erected on that side of the paddock to keep visitors further away from the animals. I am not sure how much contact was possible in other places; from the roof of the house or inside the house etc. I do remember Flora being half over the fence inside the house a couple of times. She had a very wild look in her eyes and I was grateful she could not reach me, although if I or someone else had wished to reach out to her maybe contact could have been made.

    P.S. I have just whipped through the Dudley gallery and the picture I was thinking of is "What I call a real zoo scene! 20th April 1996". It is on page 28 at the moment and actually just shows Flossie, although Kasama is on the one next to it. There is a better one currently on page 27, again just of Flossie but showing visitors as well. It was taken on 5th April 1997.
     
    Last edited: 6 Jan 2015
  18. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    Fritz does look extremely old now. He's one of the oldest (either the oldest or second oldest) males in Europe now. Try looking on Flickr for photos of him, there are plenty about.
     
  19. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    Bristol House- In some ways I think the replacement house was even worse- it hadn't even got the barred frontages or tall ceilings of the old house which the Apes could climb on- it was a badly designed and sterile building.:(

    I never quite figured why Oscar was moved from Chester- I can't remember if Ramona died first but they could have got him fresh/more partners, but they kept the two daughters instead. I thought it was a pity they moved him.
     
  20. gentle lemur

    gentle lemur Well-Known Member

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    I don't know the full reasons, but he left in 1997 after Ramona's departure. Puluh had already arrived as a mate for Emma & Subis. At that time the zoo had Anak as the breeding Bornean male and Sibu was about to return too. I don't think they could have coped with four males in the old Ape House. Perhaps the Studbook keeper wanted the younger Sumatrans to have priority and I presume that he/she would have approved Oscar's move.
    Incidentally, I don't think that Chester would move such an old orang now: they do not always respond well to transfers. This of course illustrates the problems with orangs in zoos: old males don't like to be near each other, but moving them around is problematical and they require spacious and escape-proof accommodation. That is one of reasons that the extra space in Islands will be so important.

    Alan